Of course the first thing on a hospital bag checklist is the hospital bag! During your stay, don’t lose a single thing; bring together everything you need in one easily-carried overnight bag.
Give yourself the best possible chance of comfort and grabbing a few hours sleep with your own nightwear from home.
Hospital wards can get cold! A dressing gown will help you on those midnight food runs, feeding sessions or trips to the bathroom.
Slippers / Thongs
Vital for that unforgiving hospital linoleum, slippers will help keep your feet warm, while thongs will protect them when you use the shower.
Maternity pads are an absolute necessity for our hospital bag checklist; they offer an extra level of absorbency and hygiene following labour.
Providing comfort and a good range of movement, maternity bras offer much needed support in your early days of rest and recovery.
Breast pads create a barrier between your clothing / undergarments and your nipples. These are especially useful if you are experiencing leakage or sore and sensitive nipples.
Pack a mixture of underpants that is both comfortable and easy to take on/off and underpants that you won’t mind throwing out once you leave the hospital.
Your toiletries bag should be packed with everything you might need for a few nights. There’s no need to neglect hair and skincare, but go light on the cosmetics; no one expects you to look like a front page model after childbirth. And don’t forget to include newborn toiletries on your baby checklist too!
Hairbrush & Hairdryer
Despite what you might expect, there will be downtime in the ward and you can afford to bring a brush and dryer along to look after your hair.
Toothbrush & Toothpaste
Don’t rely on the hospital supplying these. Bring your own along to make sure you look after your dental health. Maintaining habits of self-care is a preventative measure against post-natal depression.
Towel & Face Washer
Having extras on hand of either of these is a great way to bring a little more comfort into your washing up routine, and you never know what your hospital will or won’t provide.
Massage Oil & Relaxation Products
Very much in the category of ‘optional’ on our hospital bag checklist, massage oils and relaxation products can take the edge off a tough labour and help you get back onto the road to recovery.
Your own pillow can offer familiarity and comfort, while a specialist pillow can provide back support and optimal position for breastfeeding during a lot of sitting up in bed.
Heat Pack & Water Bottle
Heat packs can alleviate muscle aches and pains while a water bottle is an absolute necessity for staying hydrated.
A birth plan will be something you might have written up with your doctor or obstetrician. It can provide your medical staff with your preferences for birth and labour and those things that you wish for or need to avoid. An absolute must to tick off on for your hospital bag checklist.
iPod / Music Player & Charger
For any downtime or for relaxation, your own music can really add a bit of home and comfort to the hospital and help you in your first hours and days post-birth.
Mobile Phone Charger
Make sure you have enough power to contact your loved ones and take your mobile phone charger.
Books & Magazines
Books and magazines can help to pass the time between sleeping, feeding and hospital visits.
Comfortable Clothes For Going Home
Not only does a change of clothes for your newborn make it onto the baby checklist, but it also certainly makes yours! A fresh change of clothes will help you feel great when you leave the confines of the hospital ward and head for home.
If your hospital is particularly draughty or the weather outside calls for it, you will be glad you packed a nice pair of warm, comfortable shoes for those times when you’re up and about for prolonged periods.
Blood Group Card
This might be included on your birth plan, but your blood group card is always helpful to have close at hand.
Medicare or Health Insurance Card
Having your medical card with you at all times is a must to ensure any paperwork is processed smoothly and without stress.